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Mocanaqua (Shickshinny)

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Boulder "Garden" 
Library, The 
Main Wall 
Paradise  

Mocanaqua (Shickshinny) Rock Climbing 


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Location: 41.1476, -76.1135 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Justin Johnsen, The Stoned Master, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jarred Cleerdin on Aug 7, 2009
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one of many choice blocks in the boulderfield

Description 

"Mocanaqua" is the general location title that covers several distinct crags and boulder "gardens" scattered in the hills behind the town of Mocanaqua. The specific crag names are Paradise, The Library, Main Wall, Hawk Rock, and Squirrel Rock, along with quite a few others. There is a bunch of great climbing and fortunately most of it has good legal access.

If you're into history, the region's coal mining heritage is in evidence here in the form of great culm banks, abandoned structures, open mine shafts, etc. Paradise, for example was a dumping ground for this mine waste known as "culm" and untold tons of the stuff got poured right over the top. As you approach the cliff from the river, this culm is in evidence the whole way and you can imagine the carts dumping load after load over the top until the cliff almost disappeared. Lucky for us they stopped, leaving a fifty of sixty foot band exposed. The routes here go up to 5.12+ and there bouldering and highballs galore.

Geologically, the rock is quartzite of the Penobscot formation, and (I think) it's pretty cool that it's the same ridge that has exposures in West Virginia (Seneca) and in New York (The Gunks).

As far as climbing history goes, the first person I know of who started developing these cliffs was Albert Pisaneschi and I'm pretty sure that began in the late seventies/early eighties. For some reason Bob D'Antonio is the name that comes up but you can be sure he contributed a fraction of a percent of what Albert did. My guess is Bob talked, Al did not. Albert never reported his own routes, but he was prolific, climbing 5.13 sport, hard trad, ground up first ascents of hard (A4) nail ups, etc. Yet another "unsung" hero of our sport as his friend Rich Romano would like to say.

Access

Some of the climbing areas and trails here are owned by the Earth Conservancy.

Getting There 

Driving from Philadelphia or Lehigh valley or New Jersey or New York City, usually faster to take I-80 West to exit 256, then rt 93 north + west about 3 miles, then turn right on rt 239 North and go 7.5 miles north (with several turns) through Wapwallopen to Mocanaqua. (without using rt 11 or visiting Shickshinny).

To the Main Wall from US 11 cross the bridge into Mocanaqua. Follow 239 into town to where 239 makes a 90 turn to the right go straight on SR 3004 instead of following 239.

The parking is a small dirt lot up a mile give or take on the left immediately off the road before the s turns. The trail is on the right of the little parking lot. The Main Wall cliff parallels the road here and is quite close to the road, but nicely screened by the trees.

Or just use Gordon's directions on Google Maps.

Climbing Season



Weather station 3.8 miles from here

62 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',23],['2 Stars',34],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',6],['5.7',3],['5.8',7],['5.9',6],['5.10',17],['5.11',14],['5.12',7],['5.13',2],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Mocanaqua (Shickshinny)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Mocanaqua (Shickshinny):
Pizza   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   Main Wall
Broken Finger   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Paradise
Cornflake Crack   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 35'   The Library : Main Block, Back Side
Lavwelle Latte   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   The Library : Main Block, Back Side
Bullseye   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 40'   Main Wall
Brass Monkey   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     TR, 1 pitch, 35'   The Library : Main Block, Back Side
Urine Over Your Head   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 35'   The Library : Main Block, Front Side
Grey Face   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   The Library : Main Block, Back Side
Stairway to Heaven   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   The Library : Rear Wall
Great Expectations   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   The Library : Main Block, Back Side
I-Beam   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Paradise
Roofing Madness   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport   Paradise
Flamer   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 40'   The Library : Main Block, Back Side
Thunderstud   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 40'   The Library : Rear Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Mocanaqua (Shickshinny)

Featured Route For Mocanaqua (Shickshinny)
Rock Climbing Photo: The route

Thunderstud 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b  PA : Northeast Ridges and Valley... : ... : Rear Wall
Some balancing skill takes you to the third bolt crux, can be done statically but a tricky dyno gets the job done. The climbing eases after the crux but is still sustained. Coerce your partner to lead it first to brush off the spider webs. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in PA

Photos of Mocanaqua (Shickshinny) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: At the crux of Hickory.
At the crux of Hickory.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mocanaqua
Mocanaqua
Rock Climbing Photo: Mocanaqua
Mocanaqua
Rock Climbing Photo: Mocanaqua
BETA PHOTO: Mocanaqua
Rock Climbing Photo: Mocanaqua
BETA PHOTO: Mocanaqua
Rock Climbing Photo: Rambo Direct
Rambo Direct

Comments on Mocanaqua (Shickshinny) Add Comment
Show which comments
By kenr
May 24, 2014
Driving from Philadelphia or Lehigh valley or New Jersey or New York City, usually faster to take I-80 West to exit 256, then rt 93 north + west about 3 miles, then turn right on rt 239 North and go 7.5 miles north (with several turns) through Wapwallopen to Mocanaqua. (without using rt 11 or visiting Shickshinny).
By Michael Schneider
Jun 12, 2014
Why did the name change? when?
the old name?
the old Bob D'Antonio?
I may never climb here again but when I can't count on the names
It makes me sound wrong when I'm not
I saw Ski Mini Changed to the Peterskill area
and Ice caves mnt to Sams point both before the climbing was documented
true history is rare and good the old names should /could have been kept
By Justin Johnsen
Administrator
Jun 13, 2014
What was the original name of this crag?
By karl kvashay
From: cedar city, utah
Jun 25, 2014
"Mocanaqua" is the general location title that covers several distinct crags and boulder "gardens" scattered in the hills behind the town of Mocanaqua. The specific crag names are Paradise, The Library, Main Wall, Hawk Rock, and Squirrel Rock, along with quite a few others. There is a bunch of great climbing and fortunately most of it has good legal access.
If you're into history, the region's coal mining heritage is in evidence here in the form of great culm banks, abandoned structures, open mine shafts, etc. Paradise, for example was a dumping ground for this mine waste known as "culm" and untold tons of the stuff got poured right over the top. As you approach the cliff from the river, this culm is in evidence the whole way and you can imagine the carts dumping load after load over the top until the cliff almost disappeared. Lucky for us they stopped, leaving a fifty of sixty foot band exposed. The routes here go up to 5.12+ and there bouldering and highballs galore.
Geologically, the rock is quartzite of the Penobscot formation, and (I think) it's pretty cool that it's the same ridge that has exposures in West Virginia (Seneca) and in New York (The Gunks).
By karl kvashay
From: cedar city, utah
Jun 25, 2014
As far as climbing history goes, the first person I know of who started developing these cliffs was Albert Pisaneschi and I'm pretty sure that began in the late seventies/early eighties. For some reason Bob D'antonio is the name that comes up but you can be sure he contributed a fraction of a percent of what Albert did. My guess is Bob talked, Al did not. Albert never reported his own routes, but he was prolific, climbing 5.13 sport, hard trad, ground up first ascents of hard (A4) nail ups, etc. Yet another "unsung" heroe of our sport as his friend Rich Romano would like to say.
By Justin Johnsen
Administrator
Jun 25, 2014
Thanks Karl.
By Gordon88
From: Easton, Pennsylvania
Jul 8, 2014
Directions that are helpful. I used them to find the library last weekend:

maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&...

Edit: I did not create these directions, but I found them and they were useful to me. Someone else deserves the credit.

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